Writing for Fortune’s Techland, Scott Mortiz reports that AT&T is preparing to subsidize $200 of the cost of a new iPhone, bringing the price down to $199 for customers who sign two-year contracts. Moritz’s sources say that Apple is expected to have two versions of the new iPhone, an 8-gigabyte-memory and a 16-gigabyte-memory model with price tags widely expected to be $399 and $499. See Moritz’s article > HERE
iPhonAsia Editoral Comment:
Several predictions in Scott Mortiz’s article may well prove to be true. Apple is not married to any one business model for iPhone and this was clearly reinforced by Apple’s COO Tim Cook on February 27 > See HERE
It will not just be new model iPhone buyers who will get a deal. I would expect that AT&T and Apple will offer a generous upgrade plan to current iPhone owners who want to move to the new 3G model.
The new pricing and rate plans will likely be announced with the unveiling of the next gen (3G) iPhone. Best guess for show time is Apple’s WWDC in early June.
For fans of Apple (AAPL) and iPhone, this is a time to get excited! Apple’s apparent (still just speculation) willingness to adjust their pricing strategies bodes well for a deal to be consummated with one of China’s large 3G wireless carriers – China Mobile or (post restructuring) the newly constituted China Telecom. It also offers more flexibility in new Apple iPhone carrier deals throughout Asia and Europe. Now toss in the fact that the lower consumer price point (subsidized by carriers for new “on contract” iPhone buyers ) will put iPhone into the hands of many millions more, who in turn will be shopping at the soon to be launched Apple iPhone App Store. The App Store is a new source of revenue for Apple and also for creative iPhone developers. This is a – win, win, win, win … for Apple (AAPL), for soon to be iPhone owners, for developers, and for carriers.
NOTE: MacDailyNews has weighed in on the Fortune/Moritz story and added more about the notion of Apple offering an unlocked iPhone. MacDailyNews has also included their own caveat and I think it’s an appropriate and important add (in bold below) >
MacDailyNews Take: Nobody outside of Apple and AT&T (and their lawyers) know for sure what their U.S. iPhone agreement stipulates. Imagine if it only really covered the first year and/or the first-generation iPhone (multi-year deal, but for the original iPhone only). Then, with the debut of the next-gen iPhone, it would make perfect sense for AT&T to want to begin subsidizing it. But, what would preclude others (Verizon, etc.) from doing the same (or better) subsidies?
See also the MacDailyNews report > HERE